US Consulate in Frankfurt allocates special visa interview appointments for Indian citizens
The US Consulate in Frankfurt has set aside non-immigrant visa interview appointments specifically for Indian applicants in an effort to reduce the wait time, reported The Times of India.
This comes at a time when the US Consulate in Frankfurt has been facing a backlog of visa applications from India. The interview wait times for visitor B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) visas in India currently vary from 15 to 20 months.
This extended timeline, combined with an increasing number of applicants, has made it quite challenging for Indian nationals intending to travel to the United States for business or leisure.
The wait time for a B1/B2 interview appointment varies from state to state in India. It is also significantly shorter at the US Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany.
The wait period in Kolkata is 607 days, while in Mumbai it is 571 days, followed by 486 days in Chennai and 441 days in Hyderabad. The wait in Frankfurt is only three days.
The main reason for the long wait times in India is the high demand for US visas from Indian nationals. The US is a popular destination for Indian citizens for both business and tourism purposes. However, the number of visa interview slots available at US consulates and embassies in India is limited.
According to the TOI report, as part of measures to minimise the backlog, Indians were allowed to apply at US consulates abroad, such as Bangkok, last year. The backlog has been reduced in a number of phases after virtually tripling the previous winter.
Aside from that, Indian applicants are encountering a number of issues with a new platform for organising non-immigrant visa interview appointments. A US embassy spokesperson told TOI that the government is working to fix these difficulties as soon as feasible.
The US Mission in India has given over 3.3 lakh petition-based temporary employment visas since the start of the fiscal year, which is 71 per cent higher than it did during the same period in 2019.
According to the US embassy official, all non-immigrant visa categories in India have interview wait times comparable to pre-pandemic levels. “We have significantly increased the number of visas issued across the board…wait times for travelers who do not require an interview are very low,” TOI quoted an official as saying.
He also stated that the US embassy is actively following reports of technical challenges with the non-immigrant visa appointment website. He also pledged that the problems would be fixed as soon as feasible.
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